SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's official: The man who led the SU football team's defense for the past four seasons now has the top job. Syracuse University announced Wednesday morning that Scott Shafer will be the new head coach of the Orange.
Shafer replaces his boss, Doug Marrone, who was named the head coach of the Buffalo Bills earlier this week.
In his time at SU, Shafer's defenses have ranked highly in several categories in the NCAA. When he took over in 2009, he helped improve a defense ranked 114th in the nation the year before to 37th.
In addition to his time in Syracuse, Shafer has also coached at several other schools during his 22-year career, including Stanford and the University of Michigan.
Meanwhile, one of Shafer's first tasks could be finding a new offensive coordinator. The Buffalo News has reported that current offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is heading to the Bills to work under Marrone in the same role. There's been no official comment on that move from the Bills or from Syracuse University.
Some of Shafer's former colleagues are weighing in on his promotion.
Jim Harbaugh, currently head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, was head coach at Stanford during Shafer's time there. He says, "Scott is hard working, enthusiastic and of high character. Great things will happen with Shafe. He and his family will continue the rich and great Syracuse tradition.”
Joe Novak was head coach at Northern Illinois when he gave Shafer his first defensive coordinator job. He says Shafer "has some fire to him, which is always good for a good football coach. The kids love him. He's excitable. He's enthusiastic. The players have always loved him and loved being coached by him."
And of course Shafer's most recent boss, Doug Marrone, is also supportive of the move. He said, "I am proud to have Scott Shafer leading the football program. He is a person of high integrity who cares about the student-athletes and their development on and off the field. Scott has proven his expertise as a defensive coordinator and is ready to lead the program."